Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Jovetic's performance promising -Nacho's MOTM display -Wilshere's England burden -Podolski's pledge

Morning Gooners!

At last it's time for the real football to return. Two more days at work this week and another four until we get to see The Arsenal back in action. And there are now no longer any distractions for the players as we face the final nine league games of the season.

We are only behind Manchester United in the form table. And in three out of our last six league games have kept a clean sheet. We need to build on these foundations when we return to action on Saturday against a Reading side who have just appointed Nigel Adkins to try and perform some kind of miracle of saving them from relegation.

It won't help our cause for Reading to have new manager syndrome. Adkins has already seen us take four out of six points from his Southampton team this term. But we should be too strong for Reading who we've beaten twice already this term.

At Swansea I thought we'd gotten into the groove. Maybe that was because of our new single priority focus and the manager's ruthlessness in his team selection. We do need to pick up where we left off in Wales come Saturday at 3pm.

I was pleased with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's performance at the Liberty Stadium and pleased he picked up where he left off in Wales for England in San Marino. He wasn't involved on the pitch for Roy Hodgson's men last night and hopefully that will mean he's fresh for our game this weekend. With Theo Walcott out for around two weeks, we're going to need The Ox to come into the side and perform.

Nacho Monreal had a good game for Spain last night as they beat France 1-0 in Paris. The left-back got the assist for Pedro's goal. Laurent Koscielny played the whole 90 minutes for France and Olivier Giroud came on as a late substitute. Santi Cazorla was an unused substitute.

Thomas Vermaelen played the full 90 minutes as Belgium beat Macedonia. Tomas Rosicky got another 90 minutes under his belt as his Czech Republic side crushed Armenia 3-0. In Germany's 4-1 win over Kazakhstan, Per Mertesacker started the game and played its entirety. While Lukas Podolski was an unused substitute. And Wojciech Szczesny was an unused substitute in Poland's 5-0 win over San Marino.

As far as I can tell there wasn't any injuries to out players but we won't know more until they check in at London Colney later today.

I wasn't pleased to hear Roy Hodgson single-out Jack Wilshere's name in his post match interviews last night as a player who can make a huge difference to England's  performances. Whatever happened to him just being one of several very good player in the England team?

But something I was pleased to read were Lukas Podolski's comments about his future. I've never thought for a second he won't be an Arsenal player next season. But it's good that he's come out and said it as well.

And I was impressed with Stevan Jovetic's display against England last night. Let's hope Arsene Wenger can get his man in the summer.

That's it for today. Back with more tomorrow.

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